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Our First Funduro

photo by Chris Zito

I’m sitting at my desk feeling exponentially luckier than I usually feel, which is saying something because I consider myself to be one of the luckiest humans on earth. The reason that I’m filled with an extra dose of gratitude is probably, in large part, enhanced by the feeling you get when a plan really comes together. I’m talking about the Rock’n Beach Funduro.

photo by Craig Smith

I have a bit of history for both attending and organizing bike events that goes back to before there were fat-bikes – BP (before pugsley) – It all started with going to an MTBR Gathering and then hosting a couple of that sort of soiree. I took road trips to classic underground events like the Homie Fall (down) Fest and somewhere along that twisted path, found my tribe. The friends that I met and the fun that I experienced at those events led me to Pittsburgh to attend Dirt Rag’s Punk Bike Enduro. Punk-Bike was the spark that inspired a wild mountain bike festival called Gnomefest. Somewhere in the midst of all of that about eight years ago, my friends held the first fat-bike race in Wisconsin where I met Greg Smith which led to my joining fat dash bike dot com. (pretty lucky, right?)

photo by Craig Smith

As I’ve mentioned, we wanted to host an event that focused on FUN for the cyclists that aren’t into racing. Nothing against racers, but there are already scads of bike events that cater to the race crowd. I’m blessed with lots of bike-friends and a large percentage of them, do not hold a USA Cycling Bicycle Racing License. So we put together a team of folks to create a series of bike events for them. Events for cyclists that ride for fun! This series of events is also linked with our desire to give something back to the fat-bike community that has given us so much support. The team of folks that came together to make the first Funduro so much fun is another reason why I’m feeling sofa king lucky today!

photo by Craig Smith

I’ll start by thanking Mike from ZuZu Pedals. Mike went through all of the red tape and meetings to secure the permits for the park and the bandshell. Mike also booked his band to play and got Adam from Inventor’s Brew Pub on board for the event. Chris Daisy from Zion Cyclery booked his band and brought his whole family and crew up for the ride. Chris created the flyer for the Funduro and is going to host future fun bike events in the series. Greg Smith from Everyday Cycles in MKE helped organize and stepped up as one of the ride leaders along with Chris Zito. Zito is probably the biggest reason that Surly signed on as a sponsor and brought their Demo fleet. He scored us beer from Sprecher Brewing and brought a certain level of chaos/danger/derby that we all need in our lives. We were super lucky that Hannah and Pat Smage’s travel schedule allowed them to come and put on an incredible trials demonstration for the crowd. Kitty Ward helped spread the word about the events and I’m probably forgetting somebody, but I’m amazed at the amount of talent and the kindness that abounds in the hearts of the folks in this group.

photo by Sara Russell

The first Funduro was free, so I didn’t see any point in setting up registration. As a result, we don’t have any solid data as to how many people attended. I polled a few of the people that were there and the consensus averaged to around eighty people and a half dozen dogs. I’d also like to thank everyone that came up to Port Washington and spent their Orthodox Easter Sunday playing bikes with us!

Zito, Kelsey, Domeier, Zeigle – Derby AF – photo by Bethany Raven

In my previous attempts at organized bike fun, I’ve had a schedule and was pretty structured in my approach, but this time around, I felt like I wanted a less structured format that would look and feel like a really cool group ride. That happened in a beautiful lakeside park with some live rock bands, a keg of beer, bike demos and a vendor grilling up brats. That part seemed to work out great!

Beach Party! – photo by Bethany Raven

Here’s the part where I screwed up. I got some of our advertisers to send us schwag to give out as awards. But with the laid back format, I feel like folks came and went and I never came up with a clear plan to address how to award the stuff that we collected. We went as far as handing out raffle tickets to some of you folks, but without a registration table, we didn’t get a ticket to everyone and I find long-winded raffles where numbers are getting read off pretty boring. So I’ll be awarding everything that we have in a series of reader contests starting this Friday!

photo by Bethany Raven

These are the folks that went into their treasure closet and sent us gear to support Fun on Bikes! Please send these folks good tidings from the Rock’n Beach Funduro and maybe buy something pretty for yourself or your amigos from them!

Surly Bikes – http://surlybikes.com/

Framed Bikes – https://www.framedbikes.com/

Fatback Bikes Alaska – https://fatbackbikes.com/

Wyatt Bicycle Co. – https://wyattbikes.com/

BikeStud.com – https://bikestud.com/

Terrene Tires – https://terrenetires.com/

Sprecher Brewery – https://www.sprecherbrewery.com/

Patrick Zeigle – Photo by Bethany

For whatever reason, I’m not very comfortable with sharing emotions and feelings about things like this, but putting together events like this one is near and dear to my heart. Sometimes, if I’m really lucky and all of the stars align, these events create big doses of intangible yet essential elements like love and joy……and that fills me up with the kind of positive vibrations that I wish I could put into words.


Rock & Roll

Death by Misadventure – photo by Greg Smith
Ex Uncle played while the crowd Derby’d! – photo by Greg Smith

Miguel – photo by Bethany Raven

I think we did something good last Sunday and we’re going to do it again in October, so mark your calendars for Funduroween coming to you from the Beach Hotel & Conference Center in Zion, Illsconsin on October 19th, 2019!

South Beach – photo by Ron Stawicki
South Beach Party – photo by Ron Stawicki
Kelsey and the Ronsta!
Rico and Rev. Peterson Marshall – photo by Chris Zito

The Incredible Pat & Hannah Smage

Gnome Fu Demonstration!

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3 Responses to Our First Funduro

  1. Jeff Price April 30, 2019 at 11:44 am #

    Well that reads and looks awesome!
    What a great relaxed event.
    *dons cap*

  2. Allroy April 30, 2019 at 3:43 pm #

    Man!!! That looks amazing! Great pics. Smage is the coolest. Funduro forever fest?

  3. Kitteh Ward May 10, 2019 at 12:39 pm #

    Nice event! All you had to do was show up and enjoy the activities on a sunny day at the beach. Riding on the beach at Port is best done slowly with frequent stops to do the mess around with the ones you love❤